Some people seem to sink in their beds rather than sleeping on it. Some people remain cool and comfortable while others seem to swim in sweat. All mattresses are equal, but some mattresses perform better in certain areas than the others. Keep reading to know the differences between memory foam and latex, the two commonly used materials in mattresses.
Memory foam is essentially man-made foam constructed with polyurethane and additional chemicals to create the viscoelastic properties.
Latex foam is made from natural rubber tree sap. The milky sap is collected, processed and baked into a bouncing block.
Regardless of the sleeper’s preferences, both high-quality latex and memory foam provide comparable best comfort and sleep.
Pain Relief and Support
Memory foam’s body contouring traits are known to relieve pressure and back pains. It offers support by fitting itself along the natural curves and lines of the body. When a person sprains his hand or leg, a cast will be used to restrict the movement. Similarly, Memory foam molds to your body shape and it restricts your movements when you sleep. In other words, it provides some resistance for the sleeper to toss and turn, which is good for pain relief.
Latex excels in alleviating back pains and other chronic pains as it offers contouring support to the body, keeping the spine in its natural alignment.
Memory foam keeps you “sunken” and provides motion isolation. This reduces your partner’s disturbance as his/ her movements will not be felt from your side of the bed.
Latex offers point elasticity so when you move, the latex responds immediately to your body movement; with lesser energy used for your nightly movement, deeper sleep is possible.
Memory foam softens and contours with your body heat, as a result it retains heat and feels hot to sleep on. This could be a general issue in tropical, humid countries.
Due to the porous nature of latex, it provides good ventilation and promotes temperature regulation, making sure you remain cool and comfy in your sleep.
Memory foam tends to sag and excessively soften over time, resulting in declining comfort and support. Sleeping eventually becomes uncomfortable as your body stops getting the support it needs during sleep, especially when rolling over.
Conversely, latex is resilient and bouncier, which makes it more durable than memory foam.
Ease of Movement
The ‘memory’ in memory foam is a hint to its low responsiveness as it “memorizes” the body indentations for several seconds up to a few minutes. This means that it is slow in reacting to body movements.
On the other hand, latex provides excellent body and movement support. Its resilience and bounciness allow quick and easy turns without the extra effort to try “getting out” of the mattress. A person tosses and turns 40 times per night, so a material that supports body movement offers better blood circulation.
Since memory foam cannot be made fully natural, the chemicals released by the foam can affect health in the long run; you may suffer from headaches and respiratory problems despite the chemical gases being masked by more odor-masking chemicals.
Unlike memory foam, latex materials are natural, making it totally safe for long-term use without the inhaling dangerous gases. By using natural materials, latex is more environmentally friendly than memory foam. It is also dust mite and fungus resistant.
Which one should you get?
It depends. If you want a compression feeling and help in relieving pain, then go for memory foam. But if you want a mattress that offers a more elastic comfort, ease of movement and a cooler sleep, then do consider a latex mattress.
Memory foam: okay weight and movement support, great motion isolation, hot sleepers beware, good durability.
Latex: great weight and movement support, good motion isolation, great ventilation and body temperature regulation, very durable, no off-gassing.
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